1. Introduction and purpose of the delivery plan
We recognise the particular harm caused by hate crime which can have devastating impacts on individuals, communities and wider society. This is why we are committed to this ambitious programme of work to tackle hatred and prejudice in Scotland.
It is unacceptable in a modern Scotland for anyone to live in fear or be made to feel like they don’t belong. We want to foster communities where everyone feels empowered, included and safe – and we want to address the societal attitudes that perpetuate hate crime. Protecting human rights, and promoting equality and inclusion, will always be at the centre of everything we do.
The Hate Crime Strategy for Scotland, published in March 2023, sets out our vision for a Scotland where everyone lives free from hatred and prejudice.
Our aims set out in more detail what we want to achieve.
Aim 1: victims of hate crime are treated with fairness, compassion and in a trauma-informed manner in which their safety and recovery is a priority.
Experiencing a hate crime can be a traumatic experience and we want everyone to be treated in a way that recognises this, including as they interact with police and the criminal justice system.
Aim 2: The nature, characteristics, and extent of hate crime in Scotland are more fully understood, and effectively inform appropriate interventions and policy development.
In order to prevent and tackle hate crime in Scotland, we need to understand what is happening. This includes the collection and publication of data, including information on intersectionality and continued meaningful and ongoing lived experience engagement.
Aim 3: communities are empowered, inclusive and safe, and the underlying causes of hate crime are challenged.
We want people to live in communities where equality, human rights and humanity are upheld, and where they feel they belong.
To support these aims, the strategy identifies 14 commitments which will be taken forward throughout its lifetime. The commitments are bold and include implementing the new Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 and associated data provisions as well as overhauling reporting mechanisms, and ensuring appropriate support is available to victims of hate crime. We are also committed to investing significant effort in preventing hate crime and building cohesive communities. However, we know it will take a concerted effort to eradicate such behaviour, and that it will take some time.
The ambition set out in our strategy is our driving focus over the coming years, and we will regularly review and agree priorities that reflect the current context. We know that we can’t take everything forward at once and have worked with partners to collectively agree what we will focus on first. As such, we have agreed a range of immediate priorities with partners that we collectively believe should be driven forward over the next two years. Following this two-year period we will assess our progress with partners, and identify a further set of priorities. Feedback on our progress in delivering this set of actions will provide real-time insight and allow us to flex our response as required and reprioritise as necessary.
We are committed to working in partnership, including with the Hate Crime Strategic Partnership Group, to ensure the activity identified in the delivery plan takes account of the needs of our diverse communities. It is only by working together that we can tackle prejudicial attitudes and achieve our vision.
As with the development of the strategy, the views of those with lived experience of hate crime are at the heart of our approach and we are committed to continuing to undertake a range of engagement that seeks to empower communities across Scotland to understand and access their rights.
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